Sunday 28 September 2014

Binge to the Rescue

So there I was in the middle of my Sunday morning housework routine when I received a telephone call from Bob. He had a technical problem on his bike and could I go and rescue him?

So I set off for the wilds of deepest darkest Northumberland secretly pleased to swap the tedium of chores for the raw, wild beauty of the North Pennines.

Unfortunately mission accomplished and we were home in time for me to make the Sunday session at Consett.

Where I discovered that in a rather fiendish move EMSC 1.0 had abandoned Sunday 100's but obviously keen to live up to his evil mutant title was intent on inflicting twice the pain with a set of Sunday 200's. All of them nicely under 90 seconds per hundred pace.

I'm ashamed to admit that I got out after the main session and decided I would miss the VO2 max set which was planned (a bleep test over widths) with hindsight probably a good move.

166 f/c 20 s RI
2 x 66 f/c pull @ 20s RI
4 x 33 brst kick @ 20 s RI
166 f/c
4 x 200 f/c @ 3:30 (2:56, 2:56, 2;58, 2:56)
133 o/c easy recovery not f/c
3 x 200 f/c broken @ 100 for 15s @ 3:30 (2:55, 2:55, 2:55)
133 o/c easy recovery not f/c
2 x 200 f/c broken @ 66 for 10s @ 3:30 (2:53, 2:53)
133 o/c easy recovery not f/c
1 x 200 f/c broken @ 33 for 5s (2:45)
266 swim down
3100 metres

The Quest for Registration Nirvana Part III "Deja Vu?"

Still on the quest for Category 2 status on the ASA's database, but progress because Gateshead's registration officer sent me a text first thing saying she'd sort it out today (Friday). By the end of the day she forwarded the following email.

"Looking at her record. You are her main club so she should be paying you her memberships fees and you can make the upgrade to her membership. You have been charged her cat 1 membership at renewals this year. If she wants Consett to be her fee paying then we need to swap her clubs around and they will need to send in the form and electric batch to us"

ASA Memberships

Ehh...but I'm a masters swimmer how do I know who deals with registrations in my club....mmh we've been here before haven't we. 

Just then I had one of those lightbulb moments. Of course contact our new Masters Swimming Officer! I'd only given her the job she has to help! I dispatched an email and within about 5 minutes she answered

 " me up off the floor. In SER meeting at mo. Will look at it after lunch J

After that sympathetic response (well it was a Saturday morning after all) I reverted to Plan B.  Ring Queenie Reid; who was able to tell me who dealt with registrations at Consett.. ah ha progress but better than that:- 

Queenie was also able to pull the records she had and thought that Michael (her husband) could sort it out for me. Fingers crossed because that deadline is looming and I'm working my way up to being Mrs Stroppy with registrations on Monday.

My trials and tribulations didn't end there. As I was driving to the Saturday triathlon session my phone rang, it was Bob (who coaches the session) saying he'd left his bag at home and could I go back and get it?

This request was met with just a smidgeon of bad grace as I was nearly at the pool. If I was very lucky I calculated it would take me 35 mins to turn round, drive home, collect the bag and drive back to the pool!  Which would mean paying six quid for about 50 minutes swimming and probably only 2000 metres. 

In one of those rather pointed "oh don't bother I'll do it" "no it's ok I'll do it" conversations that only married couples can have, I found myself turning around and as I asked where he had left it he hung up! Typical man! 

Anyway I rang him back to ask where he'd left it and there was a bit of a pause and he said "oh... I think I know where it is, in my car" "what!!!!!! **** **** **** (please feel free to insert whatever your favourite expressive expletive is at this point, I can assure you I used them all)" It had fallen off the back seat as he had driven down.

The up side of this was that I was only 10 minutes late (and missed about 3 minutes of swimming because one of the enduring traits of triathletes at swimming session is that they always fart about before they get in) and he paid for my swim. 

Which was quite enjoyable. 

2 x 50 @ 60 secs
6 x 50 @ 60 progressive
6 x 50 @ 60 progressive
6 x 100 @ 2:00 with paddles
2 x 50 o/c drill @ 10s RI
5 x 100 @ 1:55
2 x 50 o/c drill @ 10s RI
4 x 100 @ 1:50
2 x 50 o/c drill @ 10s RI
3 x 100 @ 1:45
2 x 50 o/c drill @ 10s RI
2 x 100 @ 1:40
2 x 50 o/c drill @ 10s RI
1 x 100 @ 1:35
2 x 50 o/c drill @ 10s RI
250 swim down
3650 metres

The Quest for Registration Nirvana Part II

Thursday 25th September.  Ok I know you're desperate to learn the outcome of Binge's attempts to become a Category 2 swimmer before the closing date for entries to the Nationals.

Well my Facebook message worked and EMSC 3.0 came through with a telephone number for Gateshead's registration officer, so I sent her a text explaining my dilemma.

Obviously emboldened by my (self) promotion into lane 1 on Monday, I felt that I should keep up the pressure and moved into Lane 2 during the public Masters session. This courageous move was despite the fact that I had read the white board and knew that the 100's were off 1:45 which I managed pretty well getting over 20 seconds rest for most of them.

Still haunted by the fact that the computer said no........

250 warm up
4 x 100 f/c @ 1:45
3 x 75 f/c @ 1:20
2 x 50 f/c @ 55
25 swim @ 30
2 x 50 f/c @ 55
3 x 75 f/c @ 1:20
4 x 100 f/c @ 1:45
75 swim down
1 x 100 f/c @ 1:45
2 x 75 f/c @ 1:20
3 x 50 f/c @ 55
4 x 25 f/c @ 30
3 x 50 f/c @ 55
2 x 75 f/c @ 1:20
1 x 100 f/c @ 1:45
350 swim down
3050 metres

Saturday 27 September 2014

I'm a Masters Swimmer how do I know who deals with registrations in my club?

After Yesterday's T60 it was business as usual and I was beginning to think about the Nationals at the end of next month and trying to keep the swimming going in the run up to Sheffield.

Also in an extremely unbingelike show of foresightedness I attempted to enter the ASA Masters Nationals today (Monday).

Aargh no. The online entry system rejected my entry telling me "you are not a competitive swimmer".

Well I know that in my swimless binging periods that might be true but it seemed a bit rude and insulting for a computer to say this to me, because sometimes I can be quite competitive, and he should know cos he does the rankings!!

Have you noticed there's no arguing with these things? Nothing for it but to ring the ASA registration department and explain that I paid my swimming registration fee to one of my clubs in January. Yes the helpful lady on the other end of the phone said Consett club paid your £22.50, but your ranking club is Gateshead and Whickham and they have you down as a Category 1 (non competitive member) you'll need to have Gateshead upgrade your membership!

But I'm a Masters swimmer I don't have the first clue who deals with registrations in my club, ah well that's what Facebook was invented for isn't it? message to EMSC 3.0.....

In the meantime I was goaded into swimming in the fast lane by Queenie Reid at the Monday night session (she's got a lot to answer for that woman) where I spent the entire time hanging off the back.

4 x 200 f/c@ 20 s RI
no 1 swim
no 2 133 swim 66 pull
no 3 66 swim, 66 pull, 66 kick
no 4 pull
3 x 133 @ 2:40
4 x 100 @ 1:45
2 x 166 @ 3:30
5 x 66 @ 70
1 x 200 @ 4:00
6 x 33 @ 35
33 fast
66 slightly slower
100 slightly slower
133 slightly slower
166 slightly slower
200 easy
133 swim down
3500 metres

Swimming for a good cause

AARGH today's session was an EMSC 1.0 classic: a T60! Now whilst it was all in a good cause (McMillan Nurses) it was just a tad taxing on the shoulders.

Now somehow Queeenie Reid managed to avoid the full T60 and settled for a T30. After she'd talked me into it as well!

The event was attended by former international swimmer Gordon Johnson who is battling terminal cancer and is determined to raise as much as possible for McMillan nurses in whatever time he has left.

Gordon and Sue Johnson
It sort of puts my whinging into perspective really. I covered a 3666 metres in the hour so a pretty good boost to the weekly total.


Sunday 21 September 2014

A day at the beach

Busy day at the beach today (well ok yesterday cos I'm a bit behind on the blogging front) as the North East Masters Championships moved to the New Haven Pool.

We were honoured with the presence of our Masters Swimming Officer, so I had a night on the town to introduce her to the sights and the locals on Friday evening (well dinner and a wander along the quayside).

Anyway the new pool at South Shields is terrific (although I didn't read the car parking notice properly and ended up with a ticket! (It was £1.00 all day off season! doh!)

I had entered 7 events with an eye on my decathlon total; unfortunately this included my nemesis event the 200 medley.

I still have nightmares about swimming the 200m IM at Swansea in 2003 and turning from backstroke to backstroke much to the amusement of my team mates whose guffaws I could hear as I finished the length off breaststroke.

Well I provided yet another moment of entertainment as I executed my backstroke turn at the 75 metre mark; flipped over and missed the wall by about a metre! as I sculled back I was yet again accompanied by hoots of laughter from the gallery.

Which leaves me a long medley and a backstroke event to swim somewhere in the next 3 months. Botheration.

I have to admit that immediately I missed the wall the fight went out of me as I knew the officials wouldn't miss that!

It was the first time I've ever swum an event which awarded medals solely to the top three men and women on the basis of the age adjustment formula.

Of course the moral of this tale is that you should do a proper warm up and work out the position of the wall and what the ceiling's like etc, etc. Diving in and swimming the standard Binge 600 metre free warm up is totally inadequate for racing other strokes.

600 warm up
400 free 5:27.37
50 breast 42.
100 free 1:15.01
200 IM 3:16 (DQ)
200 Free 2:36.68
100 IM 1:30.14
50 fly 42.

Binge in yet another temporal anomaly!

Oh dear the senior moments are coming thick and fast at the moment, drove over to Stanley this evening parked the car and wandered into reception 15 minutes early, placed my money on the counter and uttered "please can I swim".

The receptionist looked at me quizzically (well OK if I'm being honest as if I was bonkers) and enquired "Aquafit?" "No Masters?" "aah that'll be tomorrow night"

Doh not just 15 minutes early but a full 24 hours and 15 minutes early. Never mind I was able to make the Consett session more or less on time.

Which included this little lot with a bit of quality 100's to round things off! Yet another shortish session from EMSC 1.0, do you think there's something wrong with him?

400 swim @ 30 RI
200 pull, 200 swim @ 30 s RI
133, pull 133 kick 133 swim @ 20 s RI
100, kick, 100 swim, 100 pull, 100 swim @ 15s RI
8 x 100 @ 2:00 hard 1:23, 1:26, 1:26, 1:28.5, 1:25, 1:25, 1:25, 1:25
4 x 100 @ 2:00 broken for 5s @ 66  1:25, 1:25, 1:23, 1:24
2 x 100 @ 2:00 broken for 5s @ 33  1:16, 1:18
300 swim down
3,300 metres

Monday 15th September and a 4 length thing going on

This week's efforts started off well with a Monday night training session at Consett, where Evil Mutant Swim Coach 1.0 had this 4 length thing going on. 

The sole redeeming feature of the session was the fact that it was mercifully short and although we had an hour and half pool time we'd finished after about 70 minutes. 

Oh and I suppose the fact that I was beginning to feel that the work I'd covered over my holiday was having a positive effect.

I was basing this on the rather dubious evidence that I think I am starting to swim at sub 90 secs for a hundred pace marginally more frequently and with less effort than it had taken before the summer break.

133 swim
66 swim 66 kick
133 swim
66 swim 66 pull
133 swim
4 x 133 @ 2:35 steady
1 x 133 @ 3 mins fast
3 x 133 @ 2:30 steady
2 x 66 @ 1:30 fast
2 x 133 @ 2:25 steady
4 x 33 @ 45s fast
1 x 133 steady @ 2:25
4 x 33 @ 45 s fast
1 x 133 steady @ 2:30
2 x 66 @ 90s fast
1 x 33 @ 2:35 steady
1 x 133 @ hard
1 x 133 steady
200 swim down
3400 metres

Monday 15 September 2014

EMSC losing his touch?

Now if Saturday was quiet, Sunday's session at Consett was positively deserted, there were 4 of us turned up, so I spent the afternoon trying to draft off Queenie Reid.

Completely unsuccessfully I may add as I couldn't swim nearly fast enough to keep up with her.

Anyway I felt pretty good for someone who's just returned from holiday and was swimming reasonably comfortably.

It was a SunDay session and we were only given 4 x 100's maybe ENSC has gone soft over the holidays?

200 f/c, 166, pull, 66 kick
166 f/c, 66 pull
66 f/c
400 steady @ 7 mins
3 x 66 @ 90 breast hard
400 broken 15s rest at 266, 266 steady, 133 faster pace
3 x 66 @ 90 free hard
400 broken 15s rest each 133, 133 steady, 133 faster, 133 faster
3 x 66 @ 90 free hard
4 x 100 @ 15 s RI decreasing time, 1:35, 1:31, 1:30, 1:25
133 swim down
3000 metres

Binge stars in an inadvertent remake of Hitchcock's Torn Curtain.

After a summer of swanning around the world (or should that be swimming around the world) it was back to training reality.

I'd spent the week ducking and diving and generally avoiding the pool and any swimming (apart from the unfeasibly long one in Kielder) so I finally turned up at the regular Gateshead Masters Session on Saturday.

It was pretty quiet with only 6 of us so I chose to swim in Lane 1 as there was no sign of the Fairy Snow Baby, Matt the Cash et al. Son of Beckleberry turned up to keep me company for part of the session. I must say it was a bit of a shock to the system swimming in a 25 metre pool (in an oops turns sort of way) and indoors.

The disaster of the day involved a re-enactment of that Hitchcock classic Torn Curtain. (Remember the Julie Andrews, Paul Newman movie where they are escaping from Eastern Europe on a bus)

As I drove home I passed Teenage Triathlete standing at the bus stop in our village, I waved at her and then turned into our drive.

Arrived home.......only to discover that I didn't have a front door key and she'd cleverly locked us out.....grrr queue "lights camera action" and it was chase that bus to eventually catch up with her and relieve her of her key!

500 f/c 100 swim, 100 drill
100 brst kick
300 f/c DPS
100 brst kick
100 f/c
16 x 25 brst
1-4 kick
5-8 slide
9-12 2 kick 1 pull
13 - 14 DPS
4 x 200 IM @ 4mins
400 loosen
4 x 150 IM @ 3:15
400 swim down
3,800 metres

Saturday 13 September 2014

The Kielder 10K Challenge

Back to earth with a bit of a bump, we flew into Newcastle landing at around 1:45am on Friday morning, and our finely honed plan for onward travel home went into action.

This comprised Teenage Triathlete and me legging it off the plane and through immigration, abandoning Bob to collect the baggage and his bike! whilst we jumped the taxi queue.

A short taxi ride to my parents to collect my car, then nip back to the airport to pick up Bob. I'd pinched Bob's wallet to pay for the taxi and dropped it into my bag, and then cleverly left the bag at my parents.

it was all going so smoothly and I was en route to the airport when I realised I didn't have any cash on me to pay to get out of the short term car park!

Aargh it was 2:30 am at this time so I thought I'd be clever and pick Bob up in the opening of the car park to a nearby hotel. Whilst we were loading up the car a security guard took great delight in advising me that I would receive a £60 ticket for the pleasure! botheration.

I had a couple of days out of the water but Sunday morning found me getting up at silly o clock (it was still dark!) to drive to Kielder, because for some silly reason I had thought it would be a good idea to do the Kielder 10k.

Kielder is the largest man made reservoir in Europe and holding the event had taken literally years of negotiations with a very risk averse Northumbria Water.

The swim was due to kick off at 7:30 am and involved parking at one end of the reservoir and catching a shuttle bus to the start.

What a fabulous morning, not a cloud in the sky, not a breath of wind, to a ripple on the lake it was simply glorious.

The event had attracted about 140 entries, but less than 20 were doing the 10k swim.

We were in two waves and the water temperature was a fairly benign 16 degrees, there was a mist rising off the water on the other side of the reservoir and the stillness of the morning and the tranquility of the scenery was just fabulous.

That was until I took one of my famous navigational snafus! I think I must've gone about 300 metres in the wrong direction before a rib turned me round!

As we turned north after the 4th kilometre to head to the top of the reservoir the wind picked up slightly and it became a little choppy and I was having to work pretty hard. Fortified at the various feeding stations by Jelly Babies!

Binge during an audition for the part of Igor 
It seemed an awfully long way back down the lake swimming into the sun, in places the water was pretty shallow and the last leg into the finishing funnel just went on and on.

I'm not sure if it was the length of time in the water or screwing my face up to let water seep into my goggles so that they would demist and I could see where I was going; But by the time I'd finished my face had swollen pretty grotesquely and I looked something like a cross between Quasimodo and a hamster.

There are some incredibly flattering photos of me floating around courtesy of Jane Sutton (thanks Jane!) and the Fairy Snow Baby.

But what a great event, and certainly worth thinking about for next year, brilliantly organised, the wilds of Northumberland, staggering scenery and sunshine, decent coffee, peanut brittle and chocolate muffins it's hard to imagine a more perfect day!

10 k in 3hours and 10 minutes

(Yet Another) Road Trip Day 14 Home time

Sadly last day today, we have a fairly late flight out of Arrecife which should put us in Newcastle at 2am tomorrow morning, but that does give us a full day so after packing I sauntered down to the pool for about 9:55. Impeccable timing as my lane mate from yesterday was just about to dive in. (Clearly she has the same sense of time and urgency that I do.)

She gamely slotted in behind me and we worked our way through the full session. It was great having company, as I seriously doubt that I would've finished the session on my own.

We had a great chat after the session, turns out she (Anne-Marie Hutchinson) is a triathlete and physiotherapist and planning a mountain bike trip to South America! As you do.

Anyway we worked our way through a tidy 4200 metres to bring my Lanzarote work outs to a close with Anne-Marie demonstrating epic drafting skills! (hmm typical triathlete)

AM Session
300 f/c @ 20 s RI 75 swim, 25 kick
3 x 100 IM Order @ 20 s RI (25 dril, 25 swim, 25 kick 25 swim)
6 x 50 f/c @ 10s RI (25 hard 25 easy(
6 x 50's @ 20 s RI breathing, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5
8 x 150 f/c  @ 3mins
200 brst 50 drill, 50 kick
8 x 100 f/c @ 2:10
200 back 50 drill 50 kick
8 x 50 f/c @ 80
200 f/c 50 drill, 50 kick
Session Total 4,200 metres
Holiday Total 66,250 metres

Thursday 4 September 2014

(Yet Another) Road Trip Day 13- Leaky Pools and things are getting crowded

Aargh disaster, one of the two new pools at CLS is closed for maintenance until the end of October.

Now I had long since taken to swimming in the old pool so initially I figured that this wouldn't affect me.

Wrong, because the blissful serenity of the old pool was interrupted by an influx of new pool refugees and horror of horrors I was forced to share my lane with a very tall and thin triathlete.

I figured she must have at some time been a swimmer because her lane etiquette was just perfect. She even asked me politely if I minded if she joined me. We were pretty well able to swim around each other depending on our individual sets.

Now as Triathletes go she was pretty good and we got chatting as you do (particularly when it gives you extra rest) she asked what time I intended swimming tomorrow morning and I guessed at 9:30 although commented that this might well be over optimistic.

During the course of the session my written schedule blew off the pool side and became soaked and the plastic pocket filled with water, the effect of this was that the writing became almost illegible and whilst I could work out the rest of the set I couldn't for the life of me read the afternoon session nor could I remember what the repeat time for the morning sessions were.

By the afternoon I just slopped in and worked my way through 1600 to round the day's yardage up to 6000.

AM Session
5 x 200 alternate odd free steady @ 20 s RI evens 50's drills @ 10s RI
Main Set
400 free steady
2 x 100 IM
2 x 200 free
4 x 50's brst 25 kick 25 swim
4 x 100 free
4 x 50 back 25 kick 25 swim
8 x 50's free
2 x 100 IM
10 x 100 @ 15 s RI odd free, even 50 best kick 50 best swim

PM session
8 x 200's concentrating on not swimming fast and doing whatever I fancied with no rest and a minimum of effort.

Tuesday 2 September 2014

(Yet Another) Road Trip Day 12

The observant amongst you may have noticed that Day 11 is missing, this is quite simply because I finally succumbed to a full rest day and felt the benefit of it when I got back in this morning.

Looking at the session the 200's were pretty consistent more or less holding the same time despite the decreasing turn around time.

Swimming by yourself is pretty sole destroying and can lead to you being bored beyond belief so I needed to challenge myself by thinking about breathing patterns and strokes.

I settled into a hard but comfortable rhythm with a steady breathing pattern, breathing every 6 strokes for the first 50 (45 strokes) and the first 12 strokes of the second 50, (47 strokes) and then holding 47 strokes and breathing every 4 strokes for the last 100. Not particularly fast but smoother that I've been swimming. Not sure if I'm going to make this afternoon so I thought I'd publish this now!

AM Session
4 x 50's f/x @ 20 s RI
4 x 50's f/c @ 15 s RI
4 x 50's f/c @ 10s RI
4 x 50's f/c @ 5s RI
Main Set
4 x 200 @ 3:45 (3:17 - 3:20)
4 x 100 IM @ 30s RI
3 x 200 @ 3:40 (3:20)
4 x 100 IM @ 30s RI
2 x 200 @ 3:35 (3:20)
4 x 100 IM @ 30s RI
1 x 200 @ 3:30 (3:23)
200 swim down
4200 metres

PM Session
400 free @ 7:20
2 x 200 IM @ 4:10
4 x 100 pull with paddles @ 1:50
8 x 50 f/c @ 60
4 x 100 pull @ 1:50
2 x 200 @ 4:15 50 back, 50 best
400 free 200 drill 200 swim
2800 total

Daily Total 7000